1. She was a very tall woman (well over 6 foot), but she wasn’t afraid to marry a short man. I mean, technically you shouldn’t be afraid to marry a short person in the first place, but society sets these standards that the woman is supposed to be small and frail and the man should be bigger and strong. And being 5’10” (bordering on 5’11” ) myself, I find that I worry about dating a guy who is smaller than me. I don’t even think it has to do with my personal preferences – I worry about what other people would say. But reading about Julia, reading her book My Life in France, and watching Julie & Julia has made me respect…no, understand…that love can happen even when your husband/boyfriend/whatever isn’t superman, isn’t the Old Spice man, isn’t Fabio. Because (sap alert!) love is inside and what’s on the outside is just extra. I feel like I should have learned this sooner (like the million times I was told about it in elementary school and in all the sappy movies I’ve ever watched) but it just didn’t make sense until I saw it in real life.
2. She cooked.
Well. She cooked well. With Julia, there was no baked Alaska in a flower pot…she cooked real food. Food that probably made people cry because it was so good. And every time I think about good cooking, I think about her.
She started cooking because her husband was at work and she wanted something to do, something she loved. So Julia fought to go to cooking school and…the rest is history. She worked for years and years and YEARS to write a cookbook of French food for American cooks. She was revolutionary. She was wonderful.
3. Julia Child was a happy woman.
Lots of people are happy. I am happy. Mr. Rogers is happy (I love him too, but I’ll save an explosion of Mr.-Rogers-love for another blog). But Julia Child was happy in a way that makes you want to know her. Sometimes, I feel like I already do. And though she passed when I was like 10, she’s alive because she made so many other people feel good. Good at cooking, good about themselves, good because the food tasted so good. And for that I say, bon appetit!
4. Her best friend was her pen pal.
Its a super long, complicated, and slightly strange story, but my best friend and I have only met once (worry not, we have a real, live, mutual friend – I didn’t meet this person on a dating site or something). We communicated through email, telephone, and letters for two years until June when she finally came to visit me.
And that’s how it was with Julia and her best friend Avis DeVoto (yes, Bernard DeVoto’s wife). They had corresponded for years through letter/telegram/what have you. I like that Julia’s life parallels mine. It makes me feel content, like I’ve just had a lovely, warm bowl of soup.
5. She is the reason I blog.
Well, indirectly, that is. You see, Julia Child wrote a cookbook. Julie Powell wrote a blog about cooking her way through Julia Child’s cookbook. Her blog got so popular that she wrote a book about the experience. Her book became a movie. I watched the movie and simultaneously fell in love with Julia Child and blogging.
This blog makes me so happy. I finally figured out what I like to write about, and I love that people I don’t know can read my writing and laugh or think or just…be. I love that people enjoy what I write. It gives me a sense of purpose and fulfillment. So thank you, I am eternally greatful and indebted to all of you.
P.S. Apparently, she and her husband Paul had a fantastic sex life. I guess you shouldn’t judge someone by the way she looks after all! Cheers!